An Ode to the Act of Giving Thanks to Dosher Memorial Hospital Grant from Louis Bacon’s Orton Foundation


On December 16, 2016, team members from The Orton Foundation, the North Carolina affiliate of Louis Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation, visited Dosher Memorial Hospital to deliver a $30,000 contribution for the hospital’s Emergency Department, which treats more than 13,000 patients per year. During the check presentation, Dr. Joseph P. Hatem MD, MPH, gave a kind and poignant speech about the act of giving, the ripple effect of hope, and the spirit of the holidays. Dr. Hatem has graciously agreed to let us publish his wonderful remarks here in their entirety. 

Dr. Hatem speaks on the occasion of The Orton Foundation's check presentation to Dosher Memorial Hospital

Dr. Hatem speaks on the occasion of The Orton Foundation’s check presentation to Dosher Memorial Hospital

On behalf of the doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, and staff of the J. Arthur Dosher Memorial Hospital Emergency Department, I would like to thank the Orton Foundation, Mr. Louis Bacon, Mr. Dillon Epp [Property and Wildlife Manager, Orton Plantation Holding LLC], and Ms. Ann Colley [Executive Direction and Vice President, The Moore Charitable Foundation], for the continued gift of faith they have in our hospital. Again to put this into perspective, the original hospital cost $30,000 to build in 1928, with Brunswick County Hospital Opening, June 2, 1930. James B. Duke and The Duke Endowment donating $15,000 if the city of Southport and Brunswick County would match this funding. They did: $7,500 each. Today we receive a donation that, back in the days of Dr. Dosher, would have built the entire hospital. He again would be so pleased with this generous gift.

There are three quotes I would like to share with you this morning that reflect the significance of this day:

Dr. Tom Dooley, physician, naval officer, who established hospitals and clinics in Southeast Asia in the 1950s: “Dedicate some of your life to others. Your dedication will not be a sacrifice. It will be an exhilarating experience because it is an intense effort applied toward a meaningful end.” Louis Moore Bacon and James B. Duke – we are the beneficiaries of their dedication to others and we will follow their example in dedicating part of our lives to the patients and families who seek care at our hospital.

When I think of Louis Bacon and Dillon Epp, James Duke and Dr. William Rankin, who worked with Mr. Duke in establishing hospitals and orphanages in North and South Carolina and was a close friend of Dr. Dosher’s from the state public health service, and C. Ed Taylor, an attorney in Southport, a legislator, who was one of the strongest supporters of this hospital and was the first chairman of the board of trustees and close personal friend of Dr. Dosher, I am reminded of the quote from Senator Robert F. Kennedy from June 1966 — fifty years ago: “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples to build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” Mr. Bacon and Mr. Duke have sent forth waves of hope in preserving our environment, in preserving our history, the greatest example – The Orton Plantation, and in preserving and saving lives. We will dedicate ourselves, all of us here today, from the board of trustees, foundation members, hospital employees, hospital volunteers, doctors and nurses, to being a tiny ripple of hope in the challenges we face in our emergency department and in our hospital. And I can assure you that under the leadership of our Superintendent — CEO, Tom Siemers, that for every problem, there will be a solution and for every goal, there will always a pathway to success.

The third and final quote: Charles Dickens: “I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.” To Mr. Bacon and the representatives of The Moore Charitable Foundation and The Orton Foundation, we will honor the trust and faith you have in us in serving the health care needs of our community and we will do so with love, compassion and hope with the ideals of service, excellence, always.  These were the ideals of Dr. Dosher, C. Ed Taylor, James B Duke and the Duke Endowment and are the ideals of Louis Bacon and the Orton Foundation. We build on the foundation of those who came before us and we will honor them and the continued legacy of Mr. Bacon and Mr. Duke, in serving our community at J. Arthur Dosher Memorial Hospital.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good day.

About Dosher Memorial Hospital
Dosher Memorial Hospital is the only independent critical access hospital in North Carolina. Founded in 2010, the Dosher Hospital Foundation works to improve access to healthcare services for area residents by seeking and allocating philanthropic funds.

About The Orton Foundation
The Orton Foundation is the North Carolina affiliate of The Moore Charitable Foundation, focused on protecting the Cape Fear River Basin’s unique wetlands, lands, forest and wildlife habitats. The Orton Foundation also supports educational and community programs in the region.